Tournament Of Champions Season 4 Finale: Who Came Out On Top?

By now, food fans are likely familiar with Guy Fieri's umpteenth Food Network series, "Tournament of Champions." Like many of Fieri's other shows, ToC takes a group of professional chefs and makes them go head-to-head in some out-of-the-box cooking challenges. For the show's fourth season, Fieri brought on 32 chefs from the east and west coasts, and after eight weeks of fiery competition, one chef walked away with $100,000. Spoiler alert: That chef was none other than Mei Lin, the 2014 winner of "Top Chef."

In her first match of the finale, Lin took on chef Jet Tila and bested him by three points with her grilled partridge and risotto. She then faced chef Maneet Chauhan, winning by only two points with Persian lamb stew and lamb tartare. Although Lin may not have as extensive a televised culinary background as some of her competitors (particularly the other finalists), she proved that she still has her competitive edge after seven years of judging (rather than participating in) food TV contests.

Lin's resume is every bit as impressive as you'd expect

Lin started working in the food industry at a young age, helping with her parents' Chinese restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan. She studied culinary arts at Schoolcraft College in the state before moving around the country to work with big-name chefs like Marcus Samuelsson, Wolfgang Puck, and Michael Voltaggio.

Riding the momentum of her Season 12 "Top Chef" win, Lin opened her very own L.A. restaurant, Nightshade, in 2019. Per Sous-Vide Magazine, the food at Nightshade, now closed, was "experimental" and "unexpectedly bold," serving dishes like mapo tofu lasagna. Pasta layered with tofu cream may sound tame to the average diner, but if you've tried your hand at a chili-laden mapo tofu recipe, you know that stuff is anything but mild.

In addition to Nightshade, Mei Lin recently opened a second eatery called Daybird. Also located in L.A., Daybird serves Szechuan hot chicken, ranging in heat from cayenne to ghost pepper — an intensity that seems to match the cooking style she's known for on "Tournament of Champions."